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LISTEN: The xx - 'Angels'
The Quietus , July 16th, 2012 12:20

Listen to the first track to appear from London trio's second album, plus album details

As we previously reported, London trio The xx have announced that their much anticipated second album Coexist is set for release on September 10th. The follow up to 2009's massively successful self-titled debut, it will again be released via Young Turks, and was produced by the band's Jamie Smith (who moonlights in DJing and production as Jamie XX).

Now they've made the first music from the album available for listening. You can hear 'Angels' here.

It's accompanied by a quick couple of lines from the band: "It's been a long time since we've played you anything new. This song is called 'Angels', it is the first single from our new album, Coexist. We've been playing this song live recently, so it feels good to share with you the version we've been working on for so long. We hope you like it. xx The xx"

Until now details of what the album's actually likely to sound like have been withheld, save reports from attendees of the band's recent sell-out London shows, which were roundly positive. In a review of one of the performances, our own Luke Turner described one track as "possibly the longest, most complexly arranged XX song yet. It introduces steel drums used as a kind of fluid background melody instead of rhythm. The latter is instead provided by an excellent Burial-esque piston-clop, that has a strange breakdown before a vocal melody returns over the top. Given that sonically it's essentially a singer-songwriter duo playing in a venue above a well-appointed nightclub, sounds meeting in the beams between, it shouldn't work. It's a testament to skill of The xx as balancers of melody, emotion, sound and rhythm that it does."

There's nary a Burial-ish percussive click to be found in 'Angels', however. It's very much business as usual, returning to the sparse and intimate spaces of their debut for a song that finds Romy Madley-Croft's voice pushed to the front of the mix, in front of a backdrop of chiming guitars. Lyrically, though - unsurprising given their ascent to the limelight - it feels a bit more confident; where Oliver Sim and Madley-Croft's wordplay on their debut was tentative, there's a newfound directness here, with her telling of "being in love with you, as I am".

The band have also released the tracklist for Coexist, which runs as follows:

'Swept Away'
'Our Song'

The album artwork, meanwhile, offers a variation on the original's white-on-black X:

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